Cancellation policies for TUI, easyJet, Ryanair and more amid ‘chaos’ at UK airports

Staff shortages are expected to cause massive nationwide disruption as the aviation industry continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

A source told The Times that the recruitment process was “cripplingly slow”.

Staff shortages forced passengers to wait several hours in long queues outside airports.

The situation this week was described as “absolute chaos” and “manic” by travelers on Twitter.

One person said it took “two hours to get through check-in and security”.

Another threatened legal action against the airport if he missed his flight due to “lack of management”.

As Britons anticipate the summer holidays, it may be useful to know the process for canceling flights, as the aviation sector continues to suffer from staff shortages.

Here are some of the more popular airlines and their contact details if you’re concerned.

What happens if you miss your flight due to airport delays

British Airways

If your trip is scheduled to end by September 30, 2022, you are eligible for a voucher equal to the value of your flight.

The voucher will be valid for 12 months, until September 30, 2023 and can be used to pay or for any future reservations.

If you have to cancel your flight within the next 28 days due to unavoidable circumstances, you can request a refund. More details can be found on the British Airways website.

If your flight is cancelled, you can contact the airline directly.


According to the Ryanair website, once a flight is operational and does not exceed a five hour delay, it is not possible to request a refund.

However, flights are changeable up to 2.5 hours before a flight, but remember that they cannot be cancelled.

You can change your flight on the Ryanair website or contact the customer service team directly.

The website states that you will be entitled to a full refund on flights if:

  • we change the scheduled departure time by at least 5 hours;
  • this is unacceptable to you; and
  • we cannot rebook you another flight that is acceptable to you.


If you cancel your easyJet flight within 24 hours of booking you will be entitled to a full refund, less the cancellation charge.

If easyJet has to cancel or delay your flight, the company will contact you directly and transfer you to another available easyJet flight free of charge to the same (or nearby) destination, or if you prefer, you can get a full refund.

Depending on the circumstances of a cancellation or delay, you may also be entitled to a necessary overnight stay and/or compensation under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

Please note that if you book your flight with a third party, such as a travel agent, they may be responsible for contacting you.

More details can be found on the easyJet website.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic allows you to cancel your booked flight within 24 hours of purchasing your ticket, for a full refund of your ticket price.

For more information on canceling your flight, you can head to the Virgin Atlantic website.


Passengers can cancel flights via the Emirates website. If you cancel your flight within 24 hours of booking, you won’t have to pay a cancellation fee.

To get a refund on a ticket you haven’t used, you can cancel the ticket through Manage your booking and complete the refund form. Depending on the conditions, you may be reimbursed via the card with which you purchased your ticket.

More information can be found on the Emirates website.

TUI Airways

If you have a flight-only ticket with TUI Airways, you can contact the company directly by calling 0203 451 2688 to discuss your options with Travel Exports.

You can also visit TUI‘s Manage My Bookings page.

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